May 30, 2019

When do the girls grow?

Nutrition

STOCK THE CUPBOARDS. THE GIRLS ARE COMING. YAY!

Girls have their own unique growth and development demands once they hit adolescence. This can often match or even exceed the growth they experienced during infancy. The food demands to provide adequate energy are huge at this time and here’s why:

Generally, girls enter puberty earlier (on average 2.5 years earlier) than their male counter-parts and therefore their growth-spurt happens earlier.
HEIGHT:

-      On average girls will increase their height significantly between ages 12-16 years.

-      The average increase overall in height is 25cm.

-      At peak time the growth rate can be 9-10cm per year.

-      Girls can still grow between 16-19 years, but this can be slowed or delayed if calorie restrictions happen.

WEIGHT:

-     As much as 50% of ideal adult body weight is gained during adolescence.

-     Females peak weight gain is about 3-6 months later than their height gain.

-     When height growth is at its peak girls will gain on average 8kg per year.

-     Weight gain slows when the first periods start but girls can still gain as much as 6kg during the latter half of adolescents.

-     Females experience around 45% increase in lean mass and 120% increase in body fat during puberty (around 1.1kg of body fat each year during puberty).

-     Body fat levels peak around 15-15years of age.

ENERGY:

-     Energy needs are influenced by activity levels.Girls who participate in sports, who are training using large muscle groups,and are more active than some of their peer counter-parts will need more energy (AKA EAT MORE FOOD).

 We have a few more blogs coming up about particular nutrients for our young athletes. We will keep you posted on these.

Blog post by

Rachel Svenson

Working with junior athletes and those who support them from the kitchen and the side-lines has always been a favourite part of my work and an area I have built expert knowledge around.

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